- The Barbadian parliament elected Governor General Sandra Mason as president in October.
- Mason’s inauguration will formally remove Queen Elizabeth as Barbados’ head of state.
- Barbados has been ruled by the British crown for nearly 400 years.
Following her election by parliament, Barbados Governor General Sandra Mason will be sworn in as the country’s first president on Monday, ushering in a new era and formally severing ties between the Caribbean island and the British crown, CNN reported.
Mason received the required two-thirds majority vote from the Barbadian Houses of Parliament in October, according to CNN. She will replace Queen Elizabeth as the head of state, ending Britain’s nearly 400-year reign over the island.
Prior to becoming governor general, Mason attended Hugh Wooding Law School, where she became the first Barbadian female attorney-at-law to graduate, according to her government biography. She has previously served as an educator, banker, United Nations committee chair, and ambassador to Venezuela, Chile, Colombia, and Brazil.
While Barbados gained independence in 1966, Mason pursued plans to declare Barbados a republic in September 2020, stating, “Barbadians want a Barbadian head of state.”
“Having attained independence over half a century ago, our country can be in no doubt about its capacity for self-governance. The time has come to fully leave our colonial past behind,” Mason said, according to NBC News.
An inaugural ceremony will be held in National Heroes’ Square in the capital of Bridgetown on Monday morning to officially declare Barbados a republic, according to the Barbados Government Information Service.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Motley invited Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, to the transition celebrations, where he will serve as the guest of honor, CNN reported.